Koush, Alesia (2011) Fight against the Illegal Antiquities' Traffic in the EU: Bridging the Legislative Gaps. Bruges Political Research Paper No. 21, December 2011. [Working Paper]
The illegal antiquities‘ traffic is a form of transnational organized crime and its roots often lead to drugs‘ and arms‘ trafficking and terrorism. Serious gaps of the existing legislative instruments, such as non-retroactivity, incomplete definitions, non-punitive character and burden of proof, as well as strongly-felt trade interests are the reasons for the persistence of the problem. The necessity to resolve it, putting an end to the dispersion and destruction of the world cultural heritage and to the criminal activity which stands behind it, has been the key motivation of this research. The aim of this paper was to analyze the weaknesses of the existing international, European and national legislation and, on the basis of those, to construe a comprehensive EU legal response. The results were twofold. First, the grounds on which the EU should apply the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime to the illegal antiquities‘ traffic were made evident. Secondly, the key elements to be incorporated by a new EU legally-binding instrument were demonstrated and justified. The importance of the EU solution was underlined as exemplifying for the international dimension.
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